TOKYO, June 17 (Reuters) – Benchmark Tokyo rubber futures gained on Friday, recording their first weekly gain in eight, as investors covered short positions after the yen weakened and Shanghai futures surged. The Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) rubber contract for November delivery JRUc6 0#2JRU: finished 2.6 yen, or 1.8 percent, higher at 150.5 yen ($1.44) per kg, moving away from Wednesday’s low of 146.7 yen, which was its lowest since February. The TOCOM futures, which set the tone for tyre rubber prices in Southeast Asia, climbed 1.7 percent for the week, after falling for the seventh week in a row amid concerns over slowing demand in top buyer China. “Stronger Shanghai market sparked buying in TOCOM,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
The most-active rubber contract on the Shanghai futures exchange for September delivery SNRcv1 jumped 440 yuan to finish at 10,935 yuan ($1,659.66) per tonne. The front-month rubber contract on Singapore’s SICOM exchange for July delivery STFc1 last traded at 127.6 U.S. cents per kg, up 3.7 cents. The yen was traded at 104.27 yen JPY= in late Asia trade on Friday, against a two-year high of 103.55 yen hit against the dollar on Thursday. FRX/ “Some investors speculate Britain will vote to stay in the European Union, which will boost risk appetite and support the commodity market,” Kikukawa said, predicting a positive tone in rubber prices next week.
Campaigning for next Thursday’s referendum, which overshadowed this week’s U.S.and Japanese central bank meetings, was temporarily halted after a British member of parliament, Jo Cox, was shot and fatally wounded on Thursday.
The recently volatile pound rose 0.4 percent to $1.4255 GBP= with analysts noting the pro-membership MP’s death could generate sentiment in favour of remaining in the EU. MKTS/GLOB ($1 = 6.5887 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 104.2500 yen)
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sunil Nair)